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Can You Leave a Jet Ski in the Water?

Can You Leave a Jet Ski in the Water?

Can you leave your jet ski in the water overnight? – This is a common question for many jet ski owners and with good reason.

Jet skis are vastly different than boats, so there are many risks if you don’t retrieve your jet ski with a trailer at the end of the day. Are you wondering what these risks could be?

We at JetDrift, have compiled a list of the potential risks and consequences for leaving a jet ski in the water overnight, or even for a longer period.

You can also discover some unique solutions about how can you protect your jet ski from these dangers!

Can You Leave a Jet Ski in the Water Overnight?

Yes, you can leave a jet ski in the water overnight if it’s unavoidable. Alternatively, it’s not recommended you leave it in the water for a longer period, as it may incur different form of damage! That’s why every owner’s manual recommends you remove the jet ski from the water every day.

However, just because it’s possible to leave it in the water for a day or two without fearing rust, this doesn’t mean there are other risks you should ignore..

Just like jet ski manufacturers, many industry experts recommend you not leave a jet ski in the water without supervision, if it’s possible, as leaving it near the dock for just an hour or two has its own risks. Are you wondering what they are?

Let’s go through them one by one!

Short-Term Risks

It’s very common that owners leave their jet skis near the dock while they’re eating or getting more fuel from the gas station. At first glance, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, and in most cases, they find their crafts where they left them without any damage. But in some cases they don’t!

So, if you want to leave your jet ski without supervision, you have to keep in mind the following risks.

Waves, wakes, wind

If you want to find your jet ski where you left it, you have tie it to the dock properly. The other common solution is to leave a jet ski tied to an anchor.

All of these solutions could work, but keep in mind that wind or waves can come at any time, so don’t ignore the possibility of some boats’ big wakes. Even if you leave your ski in a no-wake zone, you’ve probably seen some “nice guy” who simply overlooked this restriction.

These big wakes or waves can be harmful for your jet ski because it can be damaged by bumping into the dock. Because of this, using a pair of fenders is barely the minimum protection, but keep in mind that however well fenders do their job, it doesn’t mean full protection from all potential damage!

If you leave your ski on an anchor, it will be safe from the dock, but it could drift away if the anchor doesn’t hold properly.


Waves and wind aren’t the only factors that can remove your jet ski from the dock. Not many people think about theft or vandalism!

If you tie your jet ski to the dock with a pair of dock lines, let’s face it; it’s very easy to steal. Even if the whole jet ski is not stolen, a thief can break the storage bin and easily steal your gear.

Even if these risks are small, there is always a risk, especially if you leave your jet ski in the water overnight.

Because of this, always remove your valuables from the jet ski if you leave it without supervision! You can also consider a cable lock to secure the ski onto the dock. You can also use this lock later to secure the jet ski onto the trailer as well!


Another urgent issue could be if you find your jet ski under the water! This is another problematic situation that people usually don’t think about.

If the water is leaking somewhere into the hull, it can sink your jet ski even in an hour or two.

Always remember to check the bilge carefully before you leave your jet ski near the dock, and (if you haven’t already) it’s recommended you install an automatic bilge pump.

Can you leave a jet ski in the water?

Long-Term Risks

As you can see, there are several risks if you leave a jet ski in the water even for a couple of hours, but you can expect much more damage if you store your jet ski in the water over the long run.

Are you wondering how long you can leave a jet ski in the water?If it’s unavoidable, you can leave your jet ski in the water for a day or two without any major damage. But even manufacturers, as well as industry experts, say that it’s highly recommended to remove the jet ski every day from the water!

If you look around on lakes or beaches, you can see that nobody typically stores a jet ski directly in the water over the long run, and for good reason.

Beyond the above-mentioned risks, if a jet ski spends weeks or even the whole season in the water, it can lead to several other kinds of damage as well.


Metal and water are not friends, so one of the main reasons why you shouldn’t keep your jet ski in the water is rust. This issue can be much worse in salt water, so let’s talk about fresh water and salt water separately.

Salt water

As it’s a well-known fact that salt water is really corrosive, so it’s not recommended to leave your jet ski in it even for a couple of days. Unless you can solve leaving your jet ski in salt water for one night, this probably won’t cause much trouble. It’s also important to pay close attention to cleaning after it and flushing the cooling/exhaust with fresh water properly as well!

Fresh water

Fresh water is less corrosive, however, it doesn’t mean that it’s not harmful to your jet ski. There are stories about owners who kept their jet skis in fresh water for a week or two without any damage.

Although there are no studies on how harmful it is keeping a jet ski in the water for a week, it will definitely not be good for it!

The best is if you follow your manufacturer’s recommendations and remove the jet ski from the water every day – even if it’s fresh water!

Weather Elements

Beyond the corrosion, the weather can be harmful to your jet ski. The sun’s UV rays damage the fiberglass slowly, and don’t even mention the rain, ice or wind.

In a heavy storm, your jet ski can bump against the dock repeatedly, which can finally add up to total destruction! Always keep this factor in mind before you leave your jet ski in the water for a long time!

Flora and fauna

Water is filled with with algae, plants, mud, and various animals, not to mention the invasive species:  mussels! If you leave a jet ski in the water, you can expect the same on the pump or even the whole bottom of the jet ski. It doesn’t just look bad, but can cause many malfunctions and amortize the ski in several ways!

What’s more, in some areas you also have to deal with muskrats or other rodents that can damage several parts of the jet ski.

Maintenance and cleaning

Don’t forget about the maintenance tasks like servicing, cleaning or fueling the jet ski. These are regular tasks you should do every day you use the craft, like fueling or doing pre-ride as well as after-ride care. All of these tasks are much harder (or even impossible) to do if the jet ski is in the water!

How to Leave Your Jet Ski in the Water?

As you can see, there are many drawbacks and risks if you keep a jet ski in the water.

But if you have a lake house, or live near the beach, you may be wondering what the best solutions are for avoiding the hassle of launching the jet ski every time. We’ve collected the most common solutions for you in a nutshell:Floating Docks: Floating docks (known as “drive on jet ski docks”) are probably the most popular solutions on the market. They keep the water away from your jet ski, but you can still start it in a couple of seconds if you want!

Jet ski lifts: Jet ski lifts are similar to docks, but it’s a little bit more hassle to handle them. Alternatively, they store your jet ski higher or even above the dock, which means better protection and makes maintenance much easier.

On boats: If you have a boat or a houseboat, you can even consider storing your jet ski on it. There are several good jet ski mounts for boats you can choose from!

Shore mounts: You can find several jet ski shore mount solutions on the market, or you can build your own! These ramps sometimes are equipped with hoists so you can move your ski on the ramp easily.


You can leave your jet ski in the water overnight, but be aware of the potential risks. Your jet ski can be damaged by bumping into the dock, or in the worst case, it can even sink completely. Additionally, don’t forget about the security as your jet ski can be stolen in the morning.

If you are thinking about storing the jet ski in the water in the long run, you should know that it’s highly recommended not to do it!

Rust can eat your jet ski’s metal parts even in a season, don’t mention the plants, animals and weather elements that can damage your jet ski in several ways. Every manufacturer proposes you remove your jet ski from the water every day, so don’t overlook this recommendation to save your jet ski from damage.

If you don’t want to put your ski on the trailer every day, you can choose from several different solutions like floating jet ski docks, jet ski lifts, shore mounts or even mounts for boats!

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